Apricot Kernel Oil

Apricot oil is derived from the dried seeds of the fruit apricot. It is a small soft fruit which is pressed to obtain the oil. Apricot is well known since the ancient times for its healing abilities and medicinal properties.

Apricot oil Picture

Apricot oil

Description

Color : Cold-pressed apricot oil has a mild yellow hue. The refined apricot oil has a pale to mild yellowish tint.

Density : It has a density of 921.43.

Smoke Point : Apricot oil has a high smoke point of 495˚F.

Composition

The apricot oil contains the following elements.

  • Oleic acid – 70.83%
  • Linoleic acid- 21.96 %
  • Palmitic acids- 3 to 10 %
  • Essential amino acids- 32-34 g
  • Amygdaline content- 5.5 g
  • Stearic acid- 1.0 %

The oil also contains little amounts of less soluble sugars, protein, cellulose, hemicelluloses and pectic polysaccharides.

Extraction

Apricot kernel oil is obtained by crushing the kernel present inside the pit of the fruit through cold pressed method.

Nutritional Information

Here is the nutritional value of 1 cup of apricot kernel oil.

Nutrients

Amount

Phytolesterols

580 g

Calories from Fat

1927

Saturated Fat

13.7 g

Protein

1.4 g

Omega 6-Fatty acids

63872 mg

Polyunsaturated fat

63.9 g

Vitamin E

8.7 g

Monounsaturated  fat

131 g

Health Benefits

Lets have a look at the various health benefits one can derive from apricot oil :

  • This oil has anti-inflammatory properties which help in rejuvenating sore muscles.
  • The apricot oil is one of the prime ingredients in aromatherapy as it contains Vitamin E. It brings about anti-spasmodic relief to strained muscles when massaged onto the skin.
  • Vitamin A and C in apricot oil helps in curing skin rashes, allergies and acne.
  • A few drops of this oil when administered to the ear, reduces earache.
  • Apricot oil has the potential to heal respiratory problems such as asthma, bronchitis and rhinitis.
  • Cold-pressed apricot kernel oil can treat intestinal problems such as constipation.
  • In traditional medicine, apricot oil has been used to cure tumors since it contains the plant compound amygdalin. Amygdaline is a source of laetrile which is used in cancer drugs.
  • Apricot kernel oil is also known to treat wheezing cough and fever.
  • The vitamin A in apricot oil can also help improve eyesight or vision.

Uses

Apricot kernel oil finds its usage in various aspects of our daily lives.

Edible Uses

It can be used in dressing salad and other food preparations. It is s a very good dietary supplement as it contains high amount of fatty acids. The ‘edible’ apricot oil used in cooking is low on cholesterol, thus enhancing cardiac health.

Pictures of Apricot oil

Apricot oil Picture

Cosmetic Uses

For Skin : The oil is used in creams, balms, face mask packs and lotions. Apricot kernel oil acts as a moisturizer and is absorbed by our skin easily which reduces dry skin problems. A massage with this oil can help to revitalize our senses and body parts helping to relax. It is also used for massaging babies and children as it is very mild and non irritant for the skin. It also helps in reducing skin wrinkles that come with age.

For Hair : Massaging this oil on the scalp and hair roots prevents hair fall and nourishes it. The anti-inflammatory properties treat dandruff and dermatitis.

Other Uses

  • It is also used as sedatives.
  • It can work as a vaginal lubricant reducing the pain during intercourse.

Where to buy?

Apricot kernel oil is available in local food and specialty stores. It can also be purchased online from stores like Amazon.com and other natural products retailers.

Images of Apricot oil

Apricot oil Image

How to Store?

Apricot Oil have an average shelf life of around 1 year. One should store this oil into an airtight glass or plastic bottle. It should be kept in the refrigerator as extreme heat can spoil its properties.

Side effects and Toxicity

Apricot kernel oil contains high amounts of the compound amygdalin which contains toxic cyanide. Following are some of the side effects one might develop due to cyanide poisoning.

  • Hypersensitivity.
  • Skin rashes or other allergic conditions.
  • Headache, nausea and dizzy feeling.
  • Vomiting
  • Pregnant women and lactating mothers should avoid it due to the risk of cyanide poisoning.
  • Thyroid cancer might develop.
  • Mental retardation
  • Paralysis
  • Coma or shock.

Pictures

Here are a few images of apricot oil.

Photos of Apricot oil

Apricot oil Photo

Reference

http://www.heess.de/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=340%3Aaprikosenkernoel&catid=57%3Aaus-kontrolliert-biologischem-anbau&Itemid=129&lang=en

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/jf00050a018

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apricot_oil

http://www.ehow.com/list_6687137_benefits-apricot-oil_.html

http://www.herbco.com/t-apricot-kernel-oil.aspx

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